Author interview: Distinguished Professor Francis Mulaa talks about his course book on engineering drawing
University of Nairobi's Distinguished Professor Francis Mulaa talks about why he thought it was important to bring out a book to guide engineering students about engineering drawings. The book has been written by Professor Francis Mulaa, in association with engineer Thomas Mukuche, and has been designed by Zablon Wekesa.
Congratulations on the release of "Foundation Principles of Engineering Drawings, Design & Fabrication". You are not a full-time writer. How and when do you manage time to write in between your regular career?
I had made the draft manuscript way back in 2013 but could not find time to complete the book. Lack of a publisher locally made it more difficult. The lockdown helped create time to retrieve the manuscript and reassemble the team that was working on it to complete the work.
What kind of books inspire you as a writer? Who are your favorite authors and poets?
Mathematics Informatics, Natural Sciences Sciences and Technology (M.I.N.T)
Why did you want to become a writer? Who inspired you to become a writer? What triggered you to come into writing?
After completing my studies, It came to my realization that students were struggling with M.I.N.T subjects. On visiting the teacher training colleges, I realized that the problem was the way the subjects were being taught. The teachers did not understand the subject. Looking at the books they used, it became apparent where the problem lay. The textbooks used. I decided I could make a small contribution based on my experiences as a student and a lecturer.
What are you doing to let readers know about your book?
Word of mouth, promote through heads of institutions of higher education forums, social media groups and I plan to have a formal launch at the university when the book is published
Tell us something about yourself and your background.
I am a biochemist by training. During my first year preparatory for university, I happened to have been the only biochemist in the group, so I was placed together with students of forestry. So for three months we studied engineering drawings. Many years later, I came to learn that the reason students of engineering hated engineering drawings, was the approach and way it was taught. I decided to assemble a team that could put my student experience days into practice. The [reduced work hours owing to] COVID-19 helped complete the pending work.
Do you plan to take it up as a full-time profession if the response is good?
Definitely. I have other ideas I believe I could bring out if this book works out.